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Kashiba was one of the city’s first chefs to focus on the traditional Edomae style

“When I first came here, the local fish weren’t ready to be used for sushi,” remembers chef Shiro Kashiba — the chef and owner of Seattle’s Sushi Kashiba. “So I started looking for local seafood that I could use.”

This lead Kashiba to squid, smelt, and geoduck — a clam local to the Puget Sound that’s highly sought after by sushi chefs. Amazed by these newly discovered ingredients, Kashiba knew he wanted to focus on the Edomae style of sushi, the traditional Japanese method dating to the 1820s, focusing on fresh fish on top of vinegar rice.

Kashiba, who credits everything he knows about sushi to famed sushi chef Jiro Ono, never thought about becoming a sushi chef when he was younger. “But when I came to love making sushi, going abroad became a dream of mine,” he says. “Luckily my dream was fulfilled.”

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A smart new travel show and more TV recommendations for the weekend

This post originally appeared on March 16, 2018, in “Eat, Drink, Watch” — the weekly newsletter for people who want to order takeout and watch TV. Browse the archives and subscribe now.

Congratulations on making it through another busy week. Now it’s time to kick back and catch up on all the great food TV shows you might have missed. Here are recommendations on what to watch (and cook!) this weekend, plus a roundup of the week’s entertainment news.

Another side of Andrew Zimmern
Photo: Travel Channel/The Zimmern List

Andrew Zimmern is perhaps best known as the guy who travels the world eating bugs and offal in rural communities on Bizarre Foods. But on his new Travel Channel series, The Zimmern List, the TV host gets to show off his knowledge of what’s good to eat in America’s hottest food cities. It’s not a particularly novel concept, but Zimmern has a great knack for articulating just why, exactly, these restaurants are so special:

  • “Some of these dishes have become such cultish hits in this town that people talk about them the way they talk about seeing a great movie,” Zimmern says before diving into a...

Dallas restaurant Bppop puts a new spin on kimchi-jjigae

It’s always interesting to me to see how Korean food evolves and develops in different parts of the country; and in the land of barbecue, it’s no surprise to see a heavy dose of Texas-style ‘cue is making its way to Korean dishes.

Bbbop — a chainlet in Dallas — comes from accomplished chef Sandy Bussey and her husband Greg. At their Oak Cliff location, the duo is experimenting on dishes and concepts that aren’t found at their other fast-casual restaurants, and one of the best things I tried was the brisket-topped kimchi-jjigae — year-old kimchi that’s stewed and topped with Texas-style brisket. The combination of the smoky beef, which soaks up the funky, tangy kimchi stew, is intoxicating and addictive, a truly unique fusion that you can only really find in Texas. Beyond that, I’m also trying out some of the cold-smoked pork belly, the loaded fries, and crispy fried chicken on this episode of K-Town.

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Legend status, achieved

Yesterday, a man by the name of Bruce Wayne ended a 17-month-long, guacamole-heavy journey through the chain restaurant wilderness by eating his 500th meal in 500 days at a Chipotle location in Tiffin, Ohio. Wayne broke the previous world record for most consecutive days eating at the chain back in January, and now he’s decided to hang up his burrito-eating belt, at least for a little while. The tortilla-loving hero documented all of his record-breaking Chipotle meals on Instagram, where Wayne now explains that this final feast “isn’t just the end of one adventure; it’s the start of a new one.”

As you might expect from his name, Bruce is actually also a huge Batman fan, so he dressed as the comic book character while completing his final meal, and he brought along a tiny friend, who also dressed as the caped crusader:

#Day500 What a perfect end to an amazing journey!!! So happy my friend “Batman Jr.” was able...

The globe-trotting chef’s comic book series promises a violent kitchen nightmare

The spookier corners of Japanese folklore serve as the inspiration for Hungry Ghosts, a four-part comic book series from TV star/author Anthony Bourdain and novelist Joel Rose. This is the same duo that created the epic graphic novel Get Jiro! about master chefs who rule as crime bosses in a not-too-distant future where people literally kill to get tables at the best restaurants. If you enjoyed the kitchen nightmares of Get Jiro!, then Hungry Ghosts might be right up your alley. Here’s a rundown of what to expect from this series.

Killer art

If you’re a fan of stylized comic book violence (think Raw meets Lady Snowblood), then you’re in for a treat. Joining Bourdain and Rose in issue one are artists Alberto Ponticelli (Unknown Soldier, Dial H) and Vanesa Del Rey (Bitch Planet, Redlands). Issue two features the work of Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer) and Mateus Santolouco (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). These artists further amplify the horror element in each story with their wonderfully grotesque art. There’s also the amazing color by José Villarrubia, whose saturated reds pop off the page. Raw flesh, both human and animal, never looked more nauseating.

And let’s not forget Paul Pope’s covers, one of which features an onryō hunched over a bowl of tonkotsu ramen while she stares...

Plus, Amazon may be working on an Instacart competitor, and more food news

I turn hotdog water into ice cubes for guests that I don't like— Angela Brisk (@AngelaBrisk) March 9, 2018

That means buyers won’t be forced to subscribe

Online meal kit purveyor Blue Apron will now sell its products IRL: Following a sales slump and major stock price woes, the company is rethinking its subscription-only model, the Wall Street Journal reports. Both full kits, which contain multiple meals, and a-la-carte cooking kits could be available on store shelves “by the end of this year,” per WSJ.

Big trouble for Blue Apron began last summer when Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods, striking fear in the hearts of grocery and food retailers everywhere. The meal kit company’s subsequent IPO debuted at a lower price than anticipated, and since then its stock price has declined by 75 percent; the WSJ notes that its subscriber base has declined by more than 250,000 customers since last year.

The move follows last week’s news that retail behemoth Walmart would begin selling its own brand of meal kits in stores; it began stocking third-party meal kits last fall. The store-brand kits are currently available in 250 Walmart stores, with plans to have them in 2,000 stores by the end of the year.

Other grocers including Kroger also offer meal kits in-store, and Amazon began selling its own meal kits via AmazonFresh last year; none require a subscription.

Blue Apron subscriptions cost approximately $60 a week for three meals for two people (or around $10 per...

Pitmaster Esaul Ramos is using Mexican flavors at 2M Smokehouse

“My food isn’t full-blown Mexican, but it definitely has Mexican flair to it,” says Esaul Ramos, the pitmaster and owner of San Antonio’s 2M Smokehouse. Ramos is referring to 2M’s staple homemade sausage that’s infused with Oaxacan cheese, and the smokehouse’s barbacoa — only available the first Sunday of every month and a dish Ramos was admittedly nervous to offer to a city devoted to it.

Growing up in San Antonio, Ramos was also surrounded by traditional Texas barbecue and feels his version of barbacoa is the best way to celebrate his Mexican and Texas identities. “Barbacoa does help me bring out those influences that i grew up with it, it brings out my heritage in central Texas-style bbq,” says Ramos, who started his barbecue career by working the pit at Austin’s famed La Barbecue. “I grew up in this city and it means everything to me, and to be able to contribute to it in this way is phenomenal.”

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Competition is heating up as Sweetgreen, Tender Greens, Chopt, and other rivals expand

On New York City’s Upper East Side, it’s difficult to walk two blocks without running into at least one salad spot. Packed with hungry lunch crowds and bearing similarly evocative names, it can be hard to tell them apart: Fresh&Co is on Lexington Avenue and 85th Street, and Sweetgreen is one avenue directly east. Two blocks south there’s a Just Salad; a couple more, and there’s Chopt.

While Manhattan’s concentrated geography is ripe for exaggerated examples, fast-casual salad chains are increasingly becoming ubiquitous in many cities across the country, thanks to the coalescence of two trends: an overall boom in fast-casual dining, and a cultural shift toward healthier, vegetable-heavy meals. “It’s the perfect moment,” says Aaron Allen, a restaurant industry analyst. “Fresh is the most bankable word in food service.”

Sweetgreen, the current superstar of the space, raised close to $100 million over the past 10 years and opened 20 new locations in 2017. And while its reputation is as big as its bank account, salad chains with less buzz are spreading out, too: Houston-based Salata, for example, expects to top 100 locations by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, an array of investors, from hospitality giant Danny Meyer to NFL players, are lining up to get in on the greens, while celebrity chefs are signing...

Plus, the “Queer Eye” food expert is clapping back at his haters, and more food news

No better time to sign a deal with @nyjets then waiting on some @ChickfilA Photocred: Aiden McCown— Josh McCown (@JoshMcCown12) March 14, 2018
  • Remember those wild days around the turn of the decade, when America was in an economic tailspin and the unemployment rate was close to 10 percent? Cash was tight, so digital coupons for businesses such as restaurants and bars became The Thing. Groupon was the biggest purveyor of these online discounts, and its Chicago office was a haven for creative-type millennials in need of a steady paycheck. This is what it was like to work for the company at a time when no one knew what was coming next.
  • Mark Crumpacker, the chief marketing officer of Chipotle, is resigning from his position. Crumpaker’s efforts to turn the embattled burrito chain around have not been successful. “We have a very talented marketing...

Bywater American Bistro will serve American food “as it is right now”

It’s been a banner year for chef Nina Compton. The Top Chef alum’s first New Orleans restaurant, Compère Lapin, was named one of America’s essential restaurants by Eater’s national critic Bill Addison. Yesterday, Compton was nominated as a finalist for a James Beard Award for Best Chef: South for the second year running. And today, she debuts one of the most anticipated restaurants in the nation: Bywater American Bistro.

With Compère Lapin, Compton, who was born in St. Lucia, explores New Orleans’s historic ties to the Caribbean. But at Bywater American Bistro, a neighborhood restaurant in her very own neighborhood, Compton turns her attention to American food “as it is right now.”

Compton and her husband Larry Miller live in the Bywater building that houses the 60-seat restaurant. Compton, Miller, and Compère Lapin sous chef Levi Raines co-own the new restaurant, which Compton told Eater NOLA she opened partly as a way to give Raines a platform.

Denny Culbert/EaterNOLA

Bywater American Bistro’s menu, developed by Compton and Raines, focuses on simple but eclectic American food executed with strong...

She’s adding San Diego and Miami to her to-conquer list

In less than two years, Ayesha Curry has morphed from celebrity lifestyle icon to successful restaurateur. In November, she opened the buzzing SF barbecue spot International Smoke, where her globally inspired menu of wood-smoked meats — and her charisma — quickly found their audience.

Just a few weeks ago, news broke that she and her partners at fellow prolific empire-builder Michael Mina’s restaurant group plan to open in San Diego in early 2019. It’s one of many future openings on Curry’s plate.

Update March 14, 2018: Eater Miami reports that Curry and Mina are bringing International Smoke to Miami in summer 2018.

There’s a lot to catch up on, so here’s a helpful timeline of International Smoke:

Photo: Patricia Chang for Eater SF

Summer 2016: Curry partners with Michael Mina to launch a San Francisco pop-up. There’s Thai-style barbecue shrimp chili, “Around the World” pork ribs cooked either Korean, al pastor or St. Louis-style, and a “Royal BBQ Platter” with char siu, pastrami, and Merguez sausage. A brand is born.

May 2017: Curry and Mina reveal their continued partnership, which will install International Smoke...

The movie premieres in New York and LA this week

Ramen heads, take notice: A new documentary film that covers the art of Japanese noodle soup premieres in the United States this week. Appropriately titled Ramen Heads, the doc will be shown at Landmark theaters in New York City and Los Angeles this Friday, March 16.

Director Koki Shigeno spent 15 months learning what makes some of Japan’s top ramen chefs tick. Shigeno’s film showcases six restaurants, including that of Osamu Tomita, known as Japan’s “king of ramen.” Tomita had no problem divulging his restaurant’s secrets to the director. “The only reason the other shops won’t show you how they do it is because they’re scared you’ll find out they’re not really doing anything special,” he says.

Ramen Heads first premiered in Canada in May 2017. After its NYC and LA debuts, the doc will be shown in several cities across America over the coming months. Get a sneak peek via the trailer above.

Ramen Heads [Official]
All Movies Coverage [E]
All Pop Culture Coverage [E]

Lineage brings family recipes and Hawaiian culinary traditions to Maui this summer

Like Tin Roof, the mostly bowl-focused lunch spot chef Sheldon Simeon opened in 2016, Lineage, the Top Chef alum’s newest restaurant, is located in an unassuming Maui strip mall. And like that restaurant, which is named for the tin roofs that cover houses in Sheldon’s native Hilo, Hawaiʻi is at its center. “I think it says it all in the name,” Simeon explains. “It’s celebrating family recipes and Hawaiʻi techniques. It’s about preservation, cultivation, and the products of Hawaiʻi.”

When it opens this summer, Lineage will be Simeon’s first full-service restaurant. The dishes, designed to be shared, are derived from Simeon’s own family recipes from the Philippines as well as recipes that are a part of traditional Hawaiian cuisine.

Drawing on tradition wasn’t easy. For Lineage’s pork adobo, Simeon took a trip to the Philippines to find his grandmother’s recipe. “I learned it from a chef from the region where my grandmother was from,” Simeon says. “And when I returned back home, I cooked it for my dad. And he was like, ‘Oh, this is the closest representation to how my grandmother made it.’”

Simeon has also been reading Hawaiian cookbooks for research, and the restaurant will employ longstanding Hawaiian techniques, like the Hawaiian cowboy, or paniolo, tradition of making pipkaula, a salted, dried beef. It’s important to Simeon to use ingredients native...

Kurt Evans wants to show diners how the prison system is broken

This story was originally published on Civil Eats.

It’s about an hour before dinner service, and Kurt Evans is working on an appetizer. This dish doesn’t require mincing, chopping, searing, or slicing — in fact, it has only three ingredients, and most cooks make it without the luxury of a kitchen.

The chef opens two bags of puffy orange cheese doodles to let the air out, then mashes the snacks into a powder in the bag with his hands. Next, he crumbles in spicy shrimp-flavored ramen noodles and seasoning, then a little hot water. Evans massages the bags to combine the ingredients, presses the mixture to the bottom of each bag, and rolls the packages up to let the ingredients hydrate.

This is chi chi, and it’s typically made in a prison cell by inmates, pooling snack foods that can be bought at the prison commissary or vending machines. Sometimes it’s pressed into a sort of loaf — resembling ground beef, especially if it’s made with electric-red Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — and other times it’s looser, more like noodles in a chunky sauce. It’s an essential supplement to prisoners’ diet of limited, unpalatable-by-design prison food. In addition to the base of ramen and chips or Cheetos, a batch of chi chi may include...

Cantonese restaurant Le Palais is the city’s first to earn three stars

Michelin — the French tire company that also publishes international dining guides — announced its starred selections for Taipei, the latest city to get the Michelin treatment as the guide expands into Asia. The first-ever Michelin guide to Taipei includes 20 starred restaurants, including one establishment with three stars, Michelin’s highest honor.

Le Palais is the first restaurant in the city with three stars. Michelin inspectors were impressed by the Cantonese restaurant’s “fine, delicate Cantonese dishes,” according to a press release. Michelin awarded two Taipei restaurants two stars, including My Guest House, which serves Hunan and Sichuan food, and Japanese restaurant Ryu Gin (which is also an essential Taipei restaurant).

Seventeen Taipei restaurants received one star, including consistent Michelin favorite L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which has three stars in Hong Kong, two stars in Paris, two stars in Singapore, and one star in London. The complete list of one-starred restaurants includes cuisines “ranging from European contemporary, Japanese, barbecue to Hangzhou,” as Michelin notes in its press release, perhaps in response to criticisms that the guides have historically favored European and Japanese cuisines.

Taipei’s world-famous night market culture wasn’t recognized in any of the starred selections. Instead, Michelin recognized 10 street food stalls in its Bib Gourmand list, reserved for dining at a lower...

The full list of nominees

Today the James Beard Foundation revealed the “short list” of finalists for its 2018 awards. The awards, considered among the highest honors in the American hospitality industry, cover chefs, restaurants, and food-related books, journalism, and broadcast media.

The first Beard Awards to take place after the explosive #MeToo allegations of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry, the 2018 semifinalist list marked the Foundation’s first steps to address the industry crisis. In January, the Foundation asked its voting committee to consider behavior when making suggestions: “If you have concerns about a chef, restaurateur or beverage professional, or about the culture around a restaurant or restaurant group, leave the person or business out of your nominations,” read a directive sent to judges.

But how did the remaining voting body — comprising past winners as well as industry insiders — respond to what was among the most diverse semifinalists lists of the awards’ history?

It looks like the push for diversity in the semifinalist list has paid off in certain awards categories. In the Best New Restaurant category, nominee Kismet is run by Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson; the kitchen at the Charter Oak, while owned by Christopher Kostow, is run by Katianna Hong; Junebaby’s Edouardo Jordan is one of only a few black men to ever receive a Beard finalist nomination for BNR (he also got a nod for...

Plus, the ‘Friends’ set designer explains how he created Central Perk

The retail giant faces pressure from competitors like Amazon and Target